Earlier this year, the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa) noted that there had been a substantial shift in holdings in local collective investment schemes (CISs) over the past five years.
At the end of March 2015, 23% of the money in CISs was in equity funds. By the end of March this year, that had fallen to just 15%.
The major beneficiaries of this change were interest-bearing funds. From 24% of assets in 2015, these CISs were up to 34% at the end of March this year.
Part of the reason for this is that at the end of March, the stock market had just bottomed from the Covid-19 crash. There had therefore been a significant reduction in the value of equity portfolios.
However, it is worth noting that bonds had sold off too. So these numbers must also reflect how local equity funds have generally experienced outflows over this period.
According to Asisa statistics, equity funds saw nearly R2 billion in outflows in the first three months of 2020, and more than R10 billion in outflows in the last quarter of 2019.
However, a lot of this has been concentrated withdrawals from some bigger portfolios. Some other funds in this category have recorded meaningful in-flows over the same time.
The top 10
To understand which funds have been attracting assets, Citywire put together a list of the 10 local equity funds with the highest net inflows over the past 12 months.
Two things stand out.
The first is that the largest funds in this category are entirely absent from the list. It appears that investments are primarily being distributed to smaller funds.
The second is that there is no consistent correlation between flows and performance. Of the 10 funds receiving the highest inflows, only the Fairtree Equity Prescient fund and Truffle SCI Institutional Equity fund have out-performed the FTSE/JSE All Share Index (Alsi) over one, three and five years.
This would suggest that flows have followed performance in these cases.
However, some of the other funds have recorded distinctly underwhelming returns over the past five years. Two of the 10 funds on the list, including the fund with the highest inflows over this period, have not only consistently under-performed the Alsi, but have failed to even match the category average.
Scroll through the gallery to see which local equity funds have attracted the highest net inflows over the past 12 months, together with an analysis of their relative performance.
Patrick Cairns is South Africa Editor at Citywire, which provides insight and information for professional investors globally.
This article was first published on Citywire South Africa here, and republished with permission.